Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Balar of the Dreadful

Baleful, Balor, Evil Eye

Known as Balar of the Dreadful, Baleful or Evil Eye, this hero, god and monster, a one-eyed giant, was a cyclops in Irish mythology, and the King of the Fomhoiré (Fomorians). His power lay, not in his size, but in his single eye. Even though it took four men to lift his eyelid, once his eye was exposed, a single glance could unman a host.

In some respects, Balar is similar to the giant of Welsh mythology Yspaddaden (Ysbadadden), the giant father of the maiden Olwen in the Mabinogion story of Culhwch and Olwen, although it is unclear whether there is any direct connection between the two giants.